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Exoplanet – VHS 1256b

Artist Depiction of VHS 1256b

There have been over 5,000 exoplanets discovered to this day. Amongst those 5,000 is exoplanet VHS 1256b. This exoplanet is about 40 light years away from Earth. It was discovered fairly recently with the James Webb Telescope, and it is especially interesting because of its relatively young astronomical age. This exoplanet was formed only about 150 million years ago. Out of the 4 categories of exoplanets, VHS 1256b is considered Jupiter-like and about fifteen times bigger than Jupiter. It orbits a binary star system in which it is about 4 times farther away from than Pluto is from our parent star, which would make a single orbit around the binary system about 10,000 years. VHS 1256b is especially interesting because it is one of the only exoplanets that has an abundance of molecules occurring at the same time outside of Earth. The atmosphere contains carbon dioxide, water, methane and carbon monoxide.

I find this incredibly fascinating because of the relatively young age of the exoplanet, and what the possibilities of finding/happening are when the planet further cools down and solidifies the molecules on it. I think the presence of water could maybe give way to life later millions of years down the road. However, the distance from the parent stars might be a bit of an issue (LOL!).


2 responses to “Exoplanet – VHS 1256b”

    • There is a lot more to be discovered by scientists as VHS 1256b was officially discovered by the Hubble Telescope back in 2011, but the NIRSpec (Near Infrared Spectrograph) on the JWST allowed for the molecules to be discovered using spectroscopy! I think it will be a long while before we answer the ever present question of why.


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